With the team fading out of contention with each passing day and the trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Philadelphia Phillies brought two members of the front office on their current road trip through Denver and Los Angeles.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has been joined by assistant GM Scott Proefrock in a rare showing of two front office types on the road.
However, prior to Friday's game in Denver, Amaro said his team is not on the cusp of a fire sale and instead hopes to continue to contend.
"These next several games are important to us, no question," Amaro said, "but I don't think we could ever put ourselves in a position to be a total seller anyway. We expect to be contending in 2013, '14, '15 and beyond. So this is not a situation where even if things don't work out for us in 2012 that we're going to make super wholesale changes. That's not what we're about There's a lot of talent in this room. We have ability in this room, and we have guys who've been champions in this room. So I'm hopeful that they start playing championship-caliber baseball, which we're not doing right now, (but) we need to do that to get back into this thing."
The team did not respond as the boss hoped in the first game back from the All-Star break.
Colorado left-handed rookie Christian Friedrich, who was 0-5 with a 7.85 ERA in his previous six games, held the Phils to one run on five hits in six innings of a 6-2 Rockies win. The loss was the 10th in the last 11 games for the five-time defending NL East champion Phillies.
The Phils are a season-high 15 games out of first place. It's the largest deficit they've faced since being 15 1/2 back on Sept. 15, 2006.
"It's not necessarily the way we wanted to start (the second half)," Ryan Howard said. "Cliff (Lee) threw a great game, and we had a couple of rough innings. That's kind of been how the year has gone."
The Phils showed up at Coors Field earlier than usual: Manager Charlie Manuel called for a mandatory early hitting session at 1:30 p.m., more than five hours before the first pitch.